Ebbsfleet Mill

Section through tree trunk ( MoLAS)

Clients: Oxford Archaeology

Author: Roy Stephenson

Excavations by Oxford Archaeology at Ebbsfleet, on behalf of Union Railways (North) Ltd, revealed the remains of a horizontal-wheeled watermill. This mill has been dated by preliminary tree-ring dating, which shows that the mill was probably built between AD 684 and AD 720.

Damian Goodburn, Specialist Services Ancient Timber Specialist, has been providing expertise and training to Oxford Archaeology's staff to record this material, at Chattam Dockyard, in the most cost effective fashion.

Some 80 examples have been found in Ireland, many dating from the late 7th and 8th centuries, but the Ebbsfleet Valley example is one of only a handful from mainland Britain, and is the best-preserved found to date. Preliminary tree-ring dating has shown that the mill was probably built between 684 and 720 AD, in the reign of King Wihtred of Kent. Study of microscopic plant and animal remains called diatoms, ostracods and foraminifera, together with the topographical position, show that the mill was probably tidally-powered.

This site report is extracted from MoLAS 2003: annual review

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